Structural changes, digitalization, declining advertising revenues, declining
circulation of paid-for newspapers, and an increasing online culture have
been filling the pages of newspapers, magazines, and scientific journals in
an attempt to explain the newspaper crisis. This chapter tells the story of
Stampen Media Group, a family-owned Swedish newspaper organization. Its
journey of survival over a decade took it from a position of success – the
most successfully expanded local media group in the country – to a position
of near-bankruptcy. It is a story of hope turned to despair, the story of a
media organization presented as exemplary in international industry
conferences to a story of destructive overflow. A historical analysis
suggested three types of excesses: too many acquisitions, too high salaries
and bonuses for top management, and too high operating costs; all the
possible reasons of the current problem of scarcity of financial resources.
But who decides what is too high or too costly?